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“Cancel Culture” Cancels Christ



In Mark 7:21-22, Jesus describes the corruption of the human heart: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder. Adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” This corruption is not unique to any race or group of people, it is the original sin that has been passed down from Adam to all of humanity.


Modern philosophers of popular culture have lost sight of this fact and have instead sought to “cancel” all of those figures and emblems of history which they consider to be the result of politically incorrect sins. The problem with this mindset is that it denies the fact that all of us require redemption and cherry-picks only a few instances of indiscretion upon which they blindly harp from the perch of their own perceived piety.


An example of this misguided and ill-informed “cancel” movement came on July 3, 2020, when protesters blocked the entrance of Mount Rushmore to protest the monument and the treatment of indigenous peoples ahead of President Trump’s historic rally. Right Side Media live-streamed the event, capturing the moments after indigenous protesters drove several white vans into the road and disabled them to create a roadblock. [1] Once the vans were in place, the protesters congregated around the road. Some of them spray-painted on the road, others stepped forward to confront and scream at the National Guard.


One protester approached the National Guard, yelling, “We can learn from each other but we have to forgive, we have to show compassion…We don’t want people infringing on Constitutional rights…”


The problem with this man’s allusion to the First Amendment is that there is a Constitutional right to peaceable assembly but not to violent protest. As rioters threw themselves against the shields of the National Guard, they overstepped any pretense of peaceful protest and became victims of a violent and unredeemed human heart.


Some of the protesters claim that President Trump’s event, which they characterize as an exploitive photo-op, is emblematic of violated treaties with the Lakota tribe that led to the seizure of the land on which Mount Rushmore is carved. As one protester said days prior to the stand-off on the road: “The president needs to open his eyes. We're people, too, and it was our land first.” [2]


The woman is certainly correct, they are, indeed, people who are flawed and imperfect like all the rest of us but to say it was “their” land first is factually questionable.


If Lakota protesters want to right all the wrongs of history with their self-righteous indignation, they should track down the descendants of the Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, and Pawnee tribes to make reparations for the land that they stole in the 1700s from the original indigenous peoples. [3]


Such a proposition would be obviously ridiculous because it would lead to a never-ending cycle of guilt and shame. If we apply the standards of cancel culture, no people group is without some mortal sin, whether it be genocide, slavery, racism, misogyny, etc. There is no such thing as redemption within this framework. As Jesus says while defending an adulteress in John 8:7, it says “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’”


We all must be careful, lest we forget what it says in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” While there are certainly protesters with legitimate grievances, to condemn select parts of human history while endangering the well-being of innocent bystanders is the purest form of hypocrisy. It demonstrates the blindness of such protesters to the need for redemption in their own hearts and the hearts of all mankind. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but with the gift of Christ’s death, all of us have a chance for redemption.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] “LIVE: President Trump Speaks at Mount Rushmore; ALL DAY Coverage and Fireworks! 7/3/20,” Right Side Media (July 3, 2020), https://rsbnetwork.com/2020/07/live-president-trump-speaks-at-mount-rushmore-all-day-coverage-and-fireworks-7-3-20/

[2] Stephen Groves and Darlene Superville, “Trump readies fiery speech for Mount Rushmore event tonight,” Star Tribune (July 3, 2020), https://www.startribune.com/trump-s-rushmore-trip-draws-real-and-figurative-fireworks/571612172/

[3] “The Black Hills of South Dakota,” Legends of America (n.d.), https://www.legendsofamerica.com/sd-blackhills/#:~:text=The%20region%20has%20been%20inhabited,Crow%2C%20Kiowa%2C%20and%20Pawnee.&text=However%2C%20when%20the%20Lakota%20arrived,claimed%20the%20land%20for%20themselves.

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Foundations of Truth hereby waive all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.